How to install Windows Home Server on VMware Server

In this tutorial we will learn how to install Windows Home Sever on WMware Server which is a web based Virtualization tool. Overall installation is like any other Operating system but there are some configuration like Hard Disk Drivers, Disk Size, Memory Allocation etc you should be aware of as it differs from VMWare Workstation Tool at many points.

Pre-requisites :

  • Hardware Assisted Virtualization Tool ( Download ). This is to make sure your Windows Machine does support Virtualization which is very mush required.
  • VmWare Server ( Registration Required ) and you will get a key at the end.
  • Windows Home Server
  • The machine where you will install the VMWare has a partition which has more than 160GB space. 160 Gb space is required by the Windows Home Server.

Vmware WHS

Check for Hardware Assisted Virtualization :

Once you download the detection Tool, Run it and if your machine supports, Hardware Assisted Virtualization you will get a popup message which says that the computer is configured for hardware assisted virtualization.

Hardware Assisted Virtualization Detection

In case it says it’s not, you need to first check if your hardware supports Hardware Assisted Virtualization and if yes, check your bios if it is enabled.

Install the VMWare Server :

Double click the installer and launch the setup. Once it completes you will need to enter the key which you must have received after completing registration for the VMWare Server product. During the installation you will see

a. Port Configuration ( Choose Default )

VMWare Server  Port Configuration

b. Java Runtime Installation
c. Web Access
d. Network Component Installation
e. Registration

A shortcut will be installed on your desktop and Once the installation is complete a reboot is must.

Launch the VMWare Server :

  • Click on the Shortcut and Web Server Ui will be launched on your default browser.
  • In case your browser gives some certification error, accept and move on.

Certificate Issue with VMWare Server

  • Next is the login screen where you need to enter the same username password which is used for logged in Windows user.

VMWare Web Access Login

Inside VMWare Server :

What you will see here is very different from VMware Workstation so don’t be surprised if this is your first time. There are three sections here :

  • Inventory : It is a list of all hosts and the VM installed in them
  • Second is Details of the Host which in this case is the machine where I have installed. You should be seeing details like General, Data Stores, Networks.
  • Third Sections has quick menus like creating virtual machine, data store etc.

Now the first check you should make is on DataStore. DataStore virtually holds everything and is like a folder for VMWare Server to location your virtual hard disk, ISO files etc.

By default there is a data store available under the name of Standard. Now in case the capacity and free space is set as zero, double check if the path which is set there exists but even if it does not get resolved create a new data store and add a path. Make sure the path exists.\

Datastore Zero Size Issue

Add Datastore in VMware Server

Copy the ISO file to DataStore :

Like I said, VMware Server looks into Datastore for everything, Copy your Windows Home Server ISO file to the datastore path. I am asking you do this right here because when you create a virtual machine, you will need this.

Windows Home Server iso in VMWare Data Store

Create a Virtual Machine in VMware Server

  • Click on the Create Virtual Machine link on the third section.
  • This will launch a popup which is like a Wizard for creating the machine. Its very simple to follow except one or two place where you need to careful.

Steps :

  1. Give a name and select the right datastore
  2. Select a Guest Operating System. VMWare Server doesnt have any option for Windows Home Server so best is to go and select Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2003
  3. Memory and Processor : Make sure you give 1Gb of memory at least for smooth working.
  4. Harddisk : This is the place where you need to be careful. By default the space allocation for Virtual HardDisk is as the space is required but Windows Home Server needs to have ready 160GB of space. So when you create a new HD.
    • Under File options make sure you check on Allocate All Disk Space now.
    • Under Virtual Device Node select IDE 0 as adapter and not SCSI.
    • Update : In case you are using Windows Home Server 2011 settings of Virtual Device Node i.e. Hard Disk can be SCSI. Seems like  the older version of Windows Home Sever needed IDE.
    • If you don’t do this right, Windows Home Server Installation will fail with error message as “Hard drive capable of hosting Windows Home Server was not found” or “Not Enough Space”

    Create Virtual Desk for WHS Virtual Node IDE


  5. Next is network adapter. When you add network adapter here make sure you choose Bridged from the drop down. This will make sure the Virtual Machine gets a different Ip from your host machine which can be useful in many scenarios. Network Adpator Setting for VM in VMWare
  6. Next option is to select a CD-DVD drive. This is where we need the ISO of Windows Home Server. Select the option which says Use an ISO Image which you will have to browse and select. When you click on Browse it will open the list of data store. Select the data store where you copied the ISO image. You should fine the image there, select and go next.
  7. Skip to Add a floppy drive
  8. Add USB and Finished.
  9. Now since we allocated 160GB right there, VMWare Server will take at least 30 Minutes to complete Virtual Machine Creation.

Installing Windows Home Server

Once the setup of Virtual Machine is complete, you will see your virtual machine listed under your local computer on the left hand side pane. Select the VM and then switch to Console. Click the Console to launch to Power it on. During this step you might be asked to install a plugin, VMware Remote Console Plug-in,  required by IE. Install it.

  • Once this step is compete and your VM is powered on, it will ask you to open the console in the New Window.
  • Open it and Installation Process will start using the ISO image.
  • This should go smoothly like any Operating system installation.
  • During the process you will see only one hard drive of Size 160GB as Disk 0 , Select it. You might get a warning that it will be formatted and all your data will be lost. Dont worry on that.

WHS Instllation Disk Selection

  • Once the installation is complete a bit of Windows Update will take places specially for .Net Framework.
  • The total installation took around 45 Minutes.
  • Once the setup is complete, you will be asked to setup a password.
  • Your Windows Home Server is ready on VMWare Server.

Windows Home Server Console

  1. Port Configuration
  1. Java Runtime Installation
  1. Web Access
  1. Network Component Installation
  1. Registration
  1. Restart


  1. Really good tutorial . i have been struggling a while now to install Windows Home Server on VMware Server but this tips have really helped me


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